Workshop explores how digital technology changes the way financial markets function

Mike Cagney
UC Santa Cruz alumnus Mike Cagney, who will deliver the keynote address, is head of Social Finance Inc.

The Center for Analytical Finance (CAFIN) at UC Santa Cruz will hold a one-day workshop Friday, April 3 that looks at how digital technology has changed the way markets function.

Technology has changed markets from collectibles to public stock exchanges by reducing the costs of matching buyers and sellers thus affecting how relevant information is shared and how transactions are executed.

The workshop, "Financial Access: New Platforms for Finance," will take place from 1-6 p.m. at Engineering 2, Room 499 on the UC Santa Cruz campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

It will bring together practitioners, policymakers, and researchers to assess recent developments and prospects for creating new technology and institutional platforms for financial markets.

Keynote speaker at an invitation-only dinner to follow is UC Santa Cruz alumnus Mike Cagney (Porter, ’93) who graduated with a combined BA/MS degree in applied economics. He is co-founder, chairman, and chief executive of Social Finance Inc. (SoFi) in San Francisco that provides student loan re-financing, MBA loans, mortgages, and personal loans for early-stage professionals.

Cagney is also a co-founder and managing member of Cabezon Investment Group, a global macro hedge fund. Before Cabezon, he founded Finaplex, a wealth management software company and earlier was senior vice president and head trader for the proprietary trading and financial products group at Wells Fargo Bank.

Market advances have developed through innovative applications of technology and regulatory changes covering such areas as electronic communications and electronic payments. The JOBS Act of 2012 is an example of regulatory change applied to equity funding rules and mechanisms.

Some of the market arenas affected are equity crowd funding, online IPO auctions, securitized personal loans, and non-profit finance. These new market institutions and platforms have the potential to bring down the costs of financial intermediation, improve risk sharing, and increase access to finance in ways that improve how finance fuels the real economy.

CAFIN was founded in July 2013 and is affiliated with the UC Santa Cruz Economics Department. It is made up of researchers whose aim is to solve real-world problems of finance in a globalized financial system, focusing on systemic risk, market design, and financial access.

The workshop is made possible with generous support from Stephen Bruce, James K. Hutchinson, and the Dean's Excellence Fund.